September 29, 2012; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans tight end Dion Sims (80) runs after catch against Ohio State Buckeyes defensive back Christian Bryant (2) during the second half of a game at Spartan Stadium. Ohio State won 17-16. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Dolphins Fail To Add Offensive Firepower In Draft

Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline, Dustin Keller, and to some degree Brandon Gibson.  All added to give Ryan Tannehill the best opportunity to win football games.  While that seems like a pretty fair group of additions, they also lost LT Jake Long, RB Reggie Bush, and traded WR Davone Bess to the Browns.

It was a foregone conclusion that the Dolphins would add a few more weapons to their arsenal during the draft.  They failed to do so.

The Dolphins went heavy on defense early and often.  The additions of a pass rusher opposite Cameron Wake was a huge surprise and could be a major steal for only a 2nd round additional pick.  The Miami Dolphins opted for a CB with their 2nd round selection and while Jamar Taylor could be an immediate starter the third round seemed ripe for an offensive swing.

The Dolphins opted to use their first 3rd round selection on an offensive tackle, Dallas Thomas.  Thomas grades well but he will be a stretch to start this year.  Leaving the left side of Ryan Tannehill unprotected.  The fact that a trade for Branden Albert never happened, there is legitimate concern about who exactly will play that position.

Miami then traded their next third round pick for two 4th round picks before moving back into the end of round 3 for a CB.  Will Davis.  Davis is physical but has a lot of growing to do.  He will not start but will see playing time.  Kevin Coyle works wonders with corners and he will need to set Davis on the path of growth.  To move up, the Dolphins gave back a 4th rounder and a 5th rounder.

With two 4th rounders many fans thought that the Dolphins would turn to the other side of the ball and yet they chose another LB who will primarily be a special teams player behind new LB additions Phillip Wheeler and Dannelle Ellerbe.  The Dolphins finally added a TE with the 106th pick in the draft.  Dion Sims became only the 2nd offensive player taken.

On the surface, it would seem that the addition of a TE would help Tannehill however Sims is almost completely a blocking TE with minimal receiving skills.  Sims is not a seam threat TE and will not force opposing teams to game plan for him.  He does provide the Dolphins with a need.  Questions however will continue to linger at the position and Jeff Ireland needs to think about addressing this need before the season starts.

While Dustin Keller is an upgrade to the passing game, he is only playing on a one year deal and coming off an injury that saw him miss considerable time last season while with the Jets.  Behind Keller is Kyle Miller and Michael Egnew with a combined zero experience and HB/TE hybrid Charles Clay.  If Keller goes down, the Dolphins have no legitimate pass catching TE.

The Dolphins found a replacement for their vacant RB spot drafting Mike Gillislee from Florida.  Gillislee will provide the Dolphins a mean spirited blocking RB and goal line options.  He is well rounded in all aspects but not great in any.  He will be a solid addition but likely is not going to give Tannehill a major option as he won’t be an every down back.

The Dolphins wrapped up the rest of their draft with a kicker (more on that in another article) and a 7th round strong safety.  They left the draft on Saturday night facing in my opinion, remaining holes at LT, TE, and slot WR.  Did  the Dolphins do enough to give Ryan Tannehill the weapons to take this team to the next level?  Perhaps they gave him enough in free agency but they did not do so in the draft.  And it could be argued that the additions made on offense are negated by the holes that still exist.

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Tags: Dion Sims Miami Dolphins NFL Draft Ryan Tannehill

  • Justaguy

    Eh, not a lot in this article. Dustin Keller is our TE, granted on a 1-year deal, but he can be re-signed next year. We have our 2nd TE in Dion Sims who can block and be a valuable red-zone target, so TE is no longer a need. WR was filled in FA, NOT a need to be filled in the draft.

    Gillislee is a good 3rd down back, and an excellent receiver – so that will certainly help Tannehill.

    Our only hole is LT, which does need to be filled. But LT is not a “weapon” by any stretch. So I’m still trying to figure out what the point of this article is.

    If you thought adding offensive playmakers was a “forgone conclusion” with this draft – then you know nothing about pro football. Our biggest needs were OT (not filled, but not a playmaker position), DE (filled), CB (filled), blocking TE (filled), and then just add depth and competition (for the most part – filled).

    • jeremy161616

      The point of the article is that as always Brian Miller enjoys taking shots at Jeff Ireland. He hates him.
      Brian is the most biased person on the internet.

  • disqus_6EEJvQkoEc

    They say Martin our tackle have added muscle to his body which was his weakness, Lamar Miller will replace Bush, Brandon Gibson will replace Bess and rookie LT Thomas did not allow a sack in 2 years playing left tackle in the SEC division.

  • ConvenientTruth

    Rather ignorant take on the draft.

    1) TE was addressed in the last 2 drafts. Dion Sims can come in and contributes right away, Keller provides a seam threat and Clay will still be used in a verity of ways.
    2) WR was filled during free agency. Philbin doesn’t use a true slot receiver and wants guys who can play all three WR positions. The Dolphins have three guys who can play all of the position not to mention the young guys who have been working with Tannehill all off-season. Between the two TE and 3 main WRs there are planety of Targets for Tannehill.
    3) RB Bush never fit the team new blocking system which requires a RB to make a single cut and get up field, something we know Bush doesn’t do well, but Miller does. Gillislee is the same type of runner, not to mention DT.

    OT still needs to be addressed, but that is easily done in FA especially after free up money from Bess’s trade.


  • Rob H

    What kind of analysis is this? They needed a DE, a CB, and a T. You’re complaining that that is what they took?

  • Ken Ebersole

    Brian, Your just upset that the Phins didn’t draft S. Baily. The fact is, Philbin doesn’t like or want specialists. He wants players that can be plugged in all over the field and the especially applies to WR. Don’t forget, Binns and Matthews. Both have a ton of potential, are young and add excellent depth at the WR position. You can’t have 5 starters at WR!
    As far as TE, I wouldn’t assume Sims won’t be threat in the passing game. He is far more athletic than you think. He is a former basketball player and certainly has athletic ability. Remember, he played in the Big 10, on a team that loved to run the ball. Not to mention the fact that the QB was first year starter.
    The bottom line, our Defense and Kicker lost several games last season. The lack of turnovers puts the offense constantly playing on a long field. The speed and ball skills added to the defense should take care of that problem and that alone, should improve our Offense. Playing on a short field will increase TD production!

  • disqus_DpcmbbMA4Q

    Don’t write off Sims & Gillislee to early. Matthews will replace Bess, Wallace, Gibson and Binns & Fuller should improve our WR corp. Miller and Gillislee could be a real nice RB tandem. Should have traded Thomas for Chris Ivory

  • Buckeye Finfan

    This writing is just plain ignorant and doesn’t coincide with the facts. Don’t let the facts get in the way of my opinion….. Does he get paid to write this crap? If he does we should all call for him to be fired. It isn’t even close to being well informed. FIRE MILLER, FIRE MILLER!


  • Peter

    The only story here is PhinPhanatic failed to draft a writer with a brain. You sir are a blind idiot. Obviously, I do not share your biased opinion.

  • Chris

    I was about to rip Brian for his take on the draft, but apparently a dozen other people beat me to it.

  • Danny W

    Just so I’m clear you guys are feeling your left tackle situation is sound? Thanks from a Chiefs fan.

  • Bill

    Lamar Miller is a solid back. Gillislee is cut out of the same cloth, and was a solid participant in the Gators offense, both carrying the football for 1100 yards and as a pass catcher, not to mention solid blocker. He is a fine addition. It’s Daniel Thomas that worries me, and has for sometime now.

    Our front seven are and were solid last season. It’s our secondary that was raked over the coals, and we addressed that with three of seven picks, in addition to adding Brent Grimes. Couple that with a healthy return of Marshall, and we’ve got competition and depth.

    I think signing Keller to a one year deal is indicative of what coaches are seeing in the development of what they already have. Adding Sims would understandably give them options. Allowing Fasano to leave without any struggle, then signing Keller to the same annual salary tells me there is both a lack of confidence that Fasano was going to be a significant contributor, as well as some belief internally that other TEs were developmentally capable.
    I thought this was one of our better drafts in recent years.